Why I Teach an NSE Course


Emily Sandvall

“I really enjoy teaching NSE courses because I see, first-hand, the impact that the experience is having on students.  Because I am intimately involved in the recruitment and matriculation process of these students, it is so rewarding for me to serve in a role that launches them in to their college career.  I love to watch and be a part of the transformation that happens as students transition to college!” - Emily Sandvall, Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs, School of Engineering and Computer Science




Ida Jamshidi

"As a Baylor alumna, it is a particularly special privilege to teach an NSE course and to be a part of a new student’s transition to the university. I have the opportunity to witness the excitement, the nervousness, the school spirit, the challenges, and the accomplishments that new students experience during their first semester. It is an honor to walk alongside and support my students as they learn to navigate their Baylor experience and become the people God created them to be.” - Ida Jamshidi, Interim Asst. Director - Academic Advising, School of Engineering & Computer Science




Ben Kelley

“I teach and NSE course because I so appreciate our students and want them to reach their potential and succeed….and I feel I know what it takes to be successful…and I want to share those thoughts and experiences with our students first hand. Because our students are a precious resource full of anticipation and ambitions and I want to have the opportunity to help shape their first Baylor academic experiences into ones that point them toward confidence and success.” - Ben Kelley, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering & Computer Science



Elizabeth Corey

“I teach an NSE partly because I think I can help the students with their entry into Baylor. But honestly, part of my motivation is selfish: I always meet fabulous students who end up in my other classes later. It's a great way to connect with enthusiastic, talented young people!” - Elizabeth Corey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of the Honors Program




Amy Ames“Last year, 96% of students who took the Identifying Potential Careers NSE returned to Baylor the following year, and 85% of those students had declared a major. Since the class targets students who are feeling unsure about their goals, we recognize the risk that these students might have a harder time connecting at Baylor. The NSE normalizes the Undecided experience and provides a structured method for students to explore academic pathways and career opportunities. I enjoy creating a positive environment to aid students in decisions that will impact the rest of their lives.” - Amy Ames, Assistant Director of Career Exploration



Tracey Jones

"I love that NSE is a group of students all going through the same thing at the same time.  They bond and comfort and help each other through their mutual experience as new students on campus, and I get to be there to facilitate that transition, while developing personal relationships with students.  It's a win-win!" - Tracey Jones, Lecturer of Spanish




Eric Holleyman

“I teach an NSE course for Religion majors with the NSE in it because: 1) Data tells me that when 1st year students first step through the front door of the university, they are ripe for a good start toward a ‘life impacting’ undergraduate journey or vulnerable for failure in finding a meaningful life experience at Baylor; 2) Data suggests that becoming a part of a community is a major factor in which outcome from #1 is realized; 3) the NSE provides a system/structure for greeting, getting to know and interacting with the ‘rookie’ college students during the 1st 15 weeks of a 4 year experience; 4) ‘Getting to know and interaction’ builds a community foundation for a continued conversation in and out of the classroom over the undergraduate years; and 5) hopefully the NSE is enhancing the students’ chances of experiencing the first outcome in #1 and steering some away from the 2nd outcome.” - Eric Holleyman, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer of Religion



Bill Neilson

“I teach an NSE because I enjoy knowing a cohort of students on a more substantive level.  I spend enough time with the students that I know about their families, their motivations, and their aspirations.  I continue to know the students well throughout their college experience.” - Bill Neilson, M.S., M.D., Honors Program, Medical Humanities and Biology



Lynne Hinojosa

“I have always loved teaching first-year students, especially in their first semester. They are eager to learn, eager to work, and eager to think in new ways. What may often go unnoticed in regular classes, however, is that new students often are enduring many struggles as they transition and acclimate to university life. They might struggle with school work or with time management or with homesickness. Or even more deeply, with finding purpose and direction for their lives and their studies. The New Student Experience course gives me a more formal platform to help these students. The class often provides students with their first and most stable community of peers. It provides a comfortable space in which they can foster friendships and find a trusted professor with whom they can share their struggles and seek help. I value these opportunities to engage new students and to help guide them as they begin to find their way at Baylor and in life.” - Lynne Hinojosa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, Honors Program



Susan Schafer

“The NSE course I teach includes an introduction to the professional body of knowledge  and an opportunity to apply that knowledge and develop fundamental teaching skills in an authentic setting.  At the end of The Introduction to Teaching course my students are able to make an informed decision about selecting education as a major and career choice.  When I entered the School of Education as an undergraduate student at Baylor, I felt called to become a teacher, but I fell in love with teaching the last semester of my senior year as a  student teacher when I first witnessed my student’s ‘aha’ moment, as she went from not knowing to knowing. Teaching the NSE Course in the early childhood through 6th grade (EC-6) teacher certification program gives me opportunities to observe something that is even more powerful. Life does not get better than watching as my freshman students cause their student’s first ‘aha’ moment and suddenly begin to understand what it means to become a teacher.” - Susan Schafer, Ph.D., Instructor of Curriculum & Instruction



Randy Wood

In a few words, I do NSE because Baylor did it for ME when I was a freshmen from a small central Texas high school, first in my family to attend college, and wondering what in the world God had called me to do. If my professors then had not spent time with me, I don't know what I would have done. I try to end many of my classes with "The last 5 minutes" where I give ideas of how to be successful in life, but mostly about "making good decisions." Students have so many things pulling at them that they need to focus on what is best and what is right. I have found that when they have life issues brought to their attention most students will seriously think and do the right thing.” - Randy M. Wood, Ph.D., Professor, Curriculum and Instruction